• Feb 12, 2009
The recent news out of Japan hasn't been good for fans of front-engine, rear-wheel-drive two-doors. First came word that Subaru and Toyota were postponing the launch of their boxer-powered RWD coupe, then the S2000 is killed off and finally reports suggest that Nissan has cancelled its Silvia successor. Thankfully, all is not lost. InsideLine is reporting that Mazda is hard at work on another version of the RX-7 and development is underway on the next RX-8, supposedly – and predictably – dubbed the RX-9.
According to IL's (traditionally) unnamed sources, Mazda is working on a 16X twin-rotor Wankel (two rotors, each displacing 800cc), boosting displacement of the current 13B by 300cc and putting out upwards of 270 hp in naturally aspirated guise. Mazda's aim for its next generation of rotary engines is to dramatically reduce emissions and boost fuel economy to the tune of 20%.

Mazda will likely use the same engine to motivate the RX-7, but in addition to offering a traditional manual gearbox, Mazda is developing a dual-clutch transmission with a twist: the DCT will allow drivers to set the exact points where the clutch packs engage for maximum performance on the track.

The RX-7's circuit-friendly cred is enhanced by the report that Mazda engineers are struggling to keep the coupe's curb weight in check. An all-new chassis is being developed that will supposedly eliminate around 220 pounds, bringing the RX-7's weight down to approximately 2,640 pounds.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that both the RX-7 and RX-9 will make an appearance during this year's show season, although the way things are going, we don't expect to see either at this year's Tokyo Motor Show.

[Source: Inside Line | Image: Motor Magazine via Carscoop]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 87 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bring it Mazda. Thanks for creating cars with style and substance recently. The RX-7 was a sports car with soul - rare in japanese cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        These days the G37, Z have got communicative steering.

        But no-one does it as nicely as Mazda does.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey no credit for the tip??

      :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks for the tip, but the 16x has been confirmed by Mazda execs for what feels like a year now and everything else is just a rumor which has been rehashed thousands of times on the RX-8 boards. I guess it's nice to have it out in the open and all, but it's surprising how late the news came.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I, as a loyal Autoblog reader, would like to thank you for the tip!

        And if the news here do come true, Mazda FTW!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just hope someone from Mazda is reading this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A modern 270hp 2,640lb RX7? Sounds good to me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Lotus Evora is a four seater coupe. The quoted weight of 2,640lbs is for the two seater RX7. The RX8/9 would weigh in closer to 2,850lbs, which is within 100lbs of the rear engined V6 Evora.

        If you want to compare the RX7 weight with a Lotus, then you have to look at the Elise/Exige, which weighs 500-600lbs less than the RX7.
        • 5 Years Ago
        While I know it has a V6, I want to know why the aluminum Lotus Evora is 300lbs. heavier.
      • 5 Years Ago
      love the look of this design...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why would they increase the # on one of them and release an RX7 too that is higher on the ladder and lower on the number scale? A new rx8 would be jst fine

      Id be pissed if it wasnt for Limp Bizkit reuniting
      • 5 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who thinks that this story is too good to be true? 2600lbs? 16x rotary with better fuel economy and emissions? While I hope this rumors hold some merit, I seriously doubt it. Anyone remember Mazda readjusting the official RX-8 hp numbers after launch? It started at 250...then it was 238 (?), now some owners claim its about 220.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The RX8 is easily capable of well over the 250hp mark naturally aspirated without any bolt ons! the problem lies in U.S. emissions laws, in Japan the performance version RX8 accomplishes 250bhp because their emissions laws are much less stringent, they made a judgment error in thinking that they'd be able to accomplish the same here in spite of our emissions laws... an Australian tuner has accomplished 280bhp on a stock unit... as for torque? not much we can do about that, short of a 3rd rotor :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, the 16X is not a rumor:

        http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/rotary/16x/

        It is 23% larger than the Renesis, so 270 hp should easily be attainable. Using the same specific power output of the Renesis, the 16X should produce 292 hp. Detuning it to produce less power should result in better fuel economy and emissions. This will be the first displacement increase in Mazda's two-rotor engines since the 13B was introduced in 1972. Plus, the new design has direct injection.

        2,600 pounds would be pretty aggressive to meet, and I believe that number is pure speculation by Inside Line (how does RX-8 curb weight minus 220 equal 2,640?). However, the Miata gained just 33 pounds between the second (NB) and third (NC) generations, and the third generation is larger in every way (exterior/interior dimensions, engine, brakes, wheels, etc.) with more standard features (side air bags, roll hoops, ABS). The RX-7 will be smaller than the RX-8, with two less doors and two less seats. And the 16X is all-aluminum rather than the Renesis' cast iron side housings. If Mazda can keep a loaded Miata with a power retractable hard top almost 300 pounds lighter than a soft-top stripped down base Solstice, I think it's pretty possible Mazda can get the weight of a new RX-7 pretty low.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finally. Rotary Fans (like me) rejoice!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sports car fans rejoice.

        There is something magical about a car that makes you feel connected to the road. Miata wins at it, so does the old RX-7.
      giggles123
      • 5 Years Ago
      Please dont add a smiley face grille...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope they do come out with another RX-7....
      • 5 Years Ago
      put me down for an rx7
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mazda need to put one or two small low pressure turbos onto their Renesis engine. It will do wonders for power to weight ratio.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking of the same thing: why aren't there any boosted Rotaries anymore?
        Something's amiss.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You say Mazda, I say last gen Camaro...

      No offense intended, and I know it's not a final design, but who else sees a similarity in that view?
        • 5 Years Ago
        In .02 seconds, it said Camaro.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I bet it wont be anywhere close to this rendering. This pic lacks Mazda's new design language.

        Wonder if the RX-7 will have Furai/Karura derivative styling. I would be sold.
        • 5 Years Ago
        that's the first thing that popem in my mind when I saw it
        then it was werid reading the title which said mazda
        • 5 Years Ago
        The drawing shown is certainly just an artist's impression. It's not from Mazda, and it has nothing to do with what the car will look like. For an idea of what future Mazdas will look like, merger their current designs with all the Nagare concepts, such as the Taiki and---let it be so!---the Furai.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kind of Camaroish - but I imagine the Chevy looking like pretty cheap, plasticy and bloated sitting next to the Mazda - considering that's how it looks anyways...

        This would be a nice contrast to some of the rounder, smileyer Mazdas while still retaining that Mazda look.
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